The Last Word

By Max Chu | Posted: Wednesday June 28, 2017

Mates. To your left and your right, youve got your mates. Lads who will look after you. Throughout your Otago Boys journey, friends will be there alongside you.

These friends will end up helping to shape the person who stares back at you in the mirror every morning. Mates have been alongside you in your journey every step of the way, for example:

  • At kindergarten, a mate was probably the kid who let you use the red crayon when there were only boring, brown ones left.

  • Your mate in primary school was that one kid who shared their lunch with you when you forgot yours.

  • Throughout primary school your mate was the one who you kicked a ball round with at lunch, the one who always paired up with you so that you didn’t get stuck with that smelly girl Casey.

  • By the end of primary school, when you wanted to ask that girl Casey (your new crush), that you wanted to boogie with her at the upcoming school disco, your mate was the one who relayed to her that message, so you wouldn’t be so embarrassed when she said no.

  • At intermediate your mate was someone who wasn’t afraid to take that new textiles and cooking class with you, and was the mate with whom you started up your first social media account.

  • When you first walked through that archway as a wee tacker, a mate was someone that had the same timetable as you, the young lad who was willing to battle through Year 9 Social Studies with you, the guy that wouldn't laugh at you in class speeches.

  • Now, in senior school, your mates are the guys who wear that Hoops jersey beside you on a freezing Saturday morning, the guy who you always text to tell the teacher you’re “running late”.

What I’m trying to say is that over the years, friends come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing they all have in common is that they’ll always have your back.

Lads, friends guide you along the path that we call life. If you think of the best times of your life, you’ll most likely think about your experience, but if you delve deeper most of these happened with your OB’s brothers. A respected friend has as much potential to lift someone up as they have to tear them down.

A point I will make will be to choose your friends wisely. The adage of “If Billy told you to jump off a bridge, would you?” seemed to be my parent’s way of trying to tell me this. Even though this seemed to just be a throwaway interaction on my behalf, I realise now that this rings true. Your life lessons, will be learnt off how your mates choose to live their lives, and you will always seek respect and admiration from them.

Finally, be wary of the friends you choose, however do not be afraid to make friends. As Isaac Newton once said, “We build too many walls and not enough bridges.” Making friends might teach you more than a classroom teacher ever could, and hopefully if the friend doesn’t stay with you for life, what you learnt from them will.